Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) – A Chicago man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for his role in a smash-and-grab crime at a suburban St. Louis Saks Fifth Avenue store.

Prosecutors say 24-year-old Mario Washington was sentenced Thursday as part of a plea agreement. He was the getaway driver in November when 12 people entered the department store at Plaza Frontenac and stole expensive handbags.

The suspects drove into Illinois. About 60 miles from Frontenac, police used spike strips to stop a Dodge Journey. The eight passengers were captured. Sixteen of the 30 stolen handbags were found in the SUV. A silver Nissan got away.

Authorities believe the same people were responsible for crimes in other cities.

Washington and other defendants must pay $159,000 in restitution.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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